Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

DEA Licenses: Is It Time for a Graduated Approach?

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

DEA Licenses: Is It Time for a Graduated Approach?

Article excerpt

I sometimes think about giving up my DEA certificate.

It's not strictly about the money. $731 every 3 years is small change, compared with my rent, staff salaries, and malpractice insurance, although the savings would be nice.

Part of it is the desire to unfetter myself from prescribing controlled substances. I wouldn't have to worry about drug seekers hitting me up, or dealing with the paperwork and pharmacy calls, or doing background checks on the state monitoring site.

But, realistically, I can't do that. Even though I try to limit my narcotic scripts, the DEA number covers many other things, such as Lyrica, Vimpat, and Klonopin for epilepsy patients; Provigil for MS fatigue; and Valium.

There are, of course, the occasional narcotics. I don't have many patients on chronic narcotics any more, but I'm sure all of us have a few migraine patients who keep an emergency supply of some narcotic (say, 5-10 pills) on hand to be used in lieu of an ER trip. They may get it filled only once a year, which doesn't seem unreasonable.

I think it would be unfair to make patients, many of whom I've seen for many years, have to find a new neurologist over such things. …

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